Guide to Academic Planning 2018-2019

Chemical Physics

Course Planning

Successful completion of the requirements for the Chemical Physics Major will require careful planning and conscientious adherence to a rigorous schedule. Many courses are sequential and have prerequisites, sometimes from different departments, and must be scheduled accordingly. Postponing a course could preclude finishing the required curriculum in four years.

First- and second-year planning: CHEM 110 and 120 General Chemistry I and II OR CHEM 150 Accelerated General Chemistry should be taken the first year. These are prerequisites for CHEM 240 Organic Chemistry I which should be taken the second year. MATH 130 and 140 Calculus I and II should also be taken the first year in order to be prepared for PHYS 230/235 and 240/245 Physics I and II (calculus-based or Workshop) in year two. MATH 260 Differential Equations is also strongly recommended for the second year.

In the third year, CHEM 310 Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy, PHYS 305 Vibrations and Waves, as well as two of the elective courses should be taken. This will leave PHYS 430 Quantum Mechanics and two more electives, as well as the Senior Capstone Experience for the fourth year. The Physics Senior Capstone consists of a comprehensive examination. The Chemistry Senior Capstone is a two-part requirement:  a comprehensive standardized chemistry exam and an oral presentation of a literature-based research paper written under the direct supervision of a faculty member.


  • First Year (3 or 4 courses): CHEM 110 and CHEM 120 (OR CHEM 150), MATH 130, MATH 140
  • Second Year (4 courses): PHYS 230 or 235, PHYS 240 or 245, CHEM 240, MATH 260
  • Third Year (3 or 4 courses): CHEM 310, PHYS 305, one or two electives (CHEM 320 or PHYS 470 and possibly one other course), 
  • Fourth Year (2 or 3 courses): PHYS 430, one or two electives, Senior Capstone Experience